germ·​o·​phobe | \ ˈjər-mə-ˌfōb How to pronounce germophobe (audio) \
variants: or germaphobe
plural germophobes or germaphobes

Definition of germophobe

: a person who has an abnormal fear of germs or contamination : one affected with germophobia No wonder germophobes—including me—are on high alert, viewing every surface as a potentially lethal petri dish.— Laura Landro The stone's actual powers are debatable, but one thing's for sure—the Blarney Stone is a germaphobe's nightmare.— Catherine Prince

Other Words from germophobe

germophobic \ ˌjər-​mə-​ˈfō-​bik How to pronounce germophobe (audio) \ or germaphobic adjective
In a sometimes germophobic society, we spend countless hours and dollars disinfecting surfaces, washing our hands, and taking antibiotics to keep unwelcome bacteria, fungi, and viruses at bay. — Jan Suszkiw

Examples of germophobe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jack Antonoff has always been a serious, handshake-avoiding, airplane-seat-wiping germophobe, but the past year didn’t phase him much. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 16 June 2021 Trump is a famous germophobe, but, more important, Secret Service agents fall into the category of human beings about whom Donald Trump cares the least: other people. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, 15 Jan. 2021 The main concern for Dahl, who freely calls himself a germophobe, is his employees' health and safety. Ed Masley, The Arizona Republic, 3 Nov. 2020 All gathered Trump supporters, largely maskless, tightly packed together, and yet the president -- a habitual germophobe even before the pandemic -- always emerged unscathed. Josh Wingrove,, 4 Oct. 2020 His voice may carry extra weight in the COVID-19 era, because Mandel is well known as a handshake-avoiding germophobe. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, 10 Aug. 2020 The rom-com and debut feature from Taiwan’s Liao Ming-Yi was filmed entirely using an iPhone XS and features two soulmates—a girl who is a germophobe and a guy who is almost constantly washing his hands. Angela Watercutter, Wired, 28 May 2020 Even the untidy among us have become germophobes, incessantly washing our hands and wiping down surfaces. Peter Fimrite,, 15 Mar. 2020 Thrill seekers or germophobes, there is a water park for everyone in Central Indiana. Dwight Adams, Indianapolis Star, 13 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germophobe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of germophobe

1894, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of germophobe was in 1894

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Cite this Entry

“Germophobe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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